TO THE HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY: I am vetoing Assembly Bill 431. The bill allows a municipality to opt out of the county library tax if, subject to county board approval, a levy is collected for library purposes that is equal to or greater than the county tax on a per capita basis. Current law allows municipalities to opt out only if their levy is equal to or greater than the county tax.
I feel strongly that library funding arrangements are working statewide and object to any bill that endangers the quality of our libraries. This bill encourages a fragmentation of library services that will reduce the tax base for and revenues of existing libraries.
Under the bill, a new library may be formed to allow a municipality to gain a lower tax rate, overall reducing the tax base supporting the county's library payments. County payments to existing libraries will also fall because the county's payments will be determined on a reduced portion of the county. The existing library funding system is designed to equitably support library services and access for all county residents. Fragmentation runs counter to this goal as well as counter to our efforts to improve coordination and consolidation in local government services. Respectfully submitted, JIM DOYLE Governor